Commenting on the launch of a consultation by the Secretary of State for Education on professional development for teachers and calling for expressions of interest in a College of Teaching, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:
“This Government can establish whatever framework it likes for professional development but unless teachers are given a contractual entitlement to access such development, the current system of inequality and ad hoc arrangements will continue, with access being on the basis of grace and favour and the whims and preferences of individual employers.
“Having introduced, when it came to office, policies which have undermined consistently the professional status of teachers, it is a further indictment on this Government that after four and a half years it is now only offering up what is basically a blank sheet of paper, placing the responsibility on teachers to
re-establish esteem in the teaching profession.
“A College of Teaching can never succeed unless the conditions are right. It requires a fundamental change of Government policy, including the reinstatement of the requirement for qualified teacher status and a proper national system of regulation of, and entry to, the profession.
“Whilst noting in the statement the Government’s aspiration for a world-class teaching profession, it’s a pity that ministers once again fail to acknowledge the reality, demonstrated by a wealth of evidence, that that is what they already have.”
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